Category Archives: Admin

Supplemental Peeve! 😡

Zero Chill Bitmoji

I already wrote today’s peeve last week and it went live at 4am today, but as I read the replies to Dr. Tanya’s post about posting, I am feeling the need to peeve again! And I can’t wait a whole week, I’m sorry. There are times, my friends, when our peeves must be let out of their cages at once, or else… or else… idk what. BAD THINGS. 😱

Dr. Tanya asks…

1. How long are your blog posts on average?

They are exactly as long as they need to be.

2. Given the option, would you rather post long form or short form content?

I would “rather” post as many words as I need to per post until I am done ranting about whatever thing, or a piece of flash fiction is finished, or a poem has reached the end.

3. Time is short and the attention spans of social media users shorter still, why do you think the search engines prefer longer content?

My guess is that short posts are the tool of spammers and other annoying folks who like to fling out links to news articles sans commentary just so other bloggers will visit their sites and they’ll get ad click revenue. I’m pleased to learn that search engines are trying to thwart this nonsense.

Also, time is no shorter than it ever was, fyi. An hour still has 60 minutes in it; a day contains 24 hours as it always has. Not only that, but we now have a zillion things to save us time… who churns their own butter or takes their clothes to the river to wash them anymore? Okay then.

Am I supposed to care what my readers prefer? Well, my active readers seem to like and comment on whatever silliness I write.

Thank you! ❤️✨🤩

As far as everyone else, pffft. Like it or lump it, as a famous philosopher once said.

~*~

Image credit to Bitmoji.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Looking Forward

I have been enjoying other bloggers’ recaps of the year past and usually I do something similar. This year however I’m skipping that type of detailed post. One reason is that I’m just too lazy to copypasta links to my top ten posts in a new post. Another is that I just don’t care which posts received the most views ~ and if I don’t care, why would you?

Lots of times a post I love (usually a poem) gets fewer views and comments than some picture of an old flower or whatever, so I find the stats pretty meaningless. I guess if I were monetizing the blog, I would obsess over such things, but I’m not and don’t. Also, it matters which day of the week and time of the day a post goes live, but I’m too busy to check that further. Plus, it’s boring.

The most important part of recapping the year in my opinion anyway is to thank everyone who has read my blog, whether regularly or sporadically, and interacted with my writing. So, would like to extend a hearty thank you to all my readers! ❤️ I appreciate all of you! 😍

Looking forward, my intent is to keep on blogging as usual but perhaps a bit lighter on quantity, since I’ve been refocusing on my unfinished writing projects. I began a new humorous story recently and it’s now taken priority over every other piece of fiction ~ I hope to have it available for sale on Kindle in the next few weeks. After that, I want to get serious about cleaning up my writing to-do list, like I said I would last year. 🙄

I spent a fair bit of time dealing with audio books last summer and was disappointed in the small amount of sales. I thought the talkers would do promo. I also assumed the site itself would market me. All wrong. Oh well. Since that was no fun at all, but writing is, I’ll stick with the written word.

I also need to read more books. With my move and other busy-ness, I’ve been in a reading lull. Writers need to read! Not just blogs and news, but real books. I can always feel my creativity and imagination begin to bubble and boil when I dive into the worlds that other writers have created. It’s a crucial component of the craft.

Dream big, my friends! 💖✨🥳

~*~

Image from Bitmoji.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

BRA-less No More

True story Bitmoji

So I had this incredibly stressful evening changing my address at the DMV online. Hopefully I didn’t screw it up because god forbid I won’t be able to vote for one of the doofuses in the early California primary. I waited until tonight because of my tags, which had already been sent, and I wanted to make sure they were actually in my hand before I began messing with stuff. The last thing I need is to stress about my tags being late, or not getting forwarded, or some horrible thing. But they are here, and all is good. (Another time we’ll discuss how I can’t bear it if I put them on the slightest bit crooked.)

Later Bitmoji

But then I was sad because no one tagged me for a Blogger Recognition Award (BRA). Everyone else had a BRA, but I was going around BRA-less and starting to feel a bit self-conscious. I said this to Jim and he took pity on me, bestowing on me what we call in the business a “pity BRA.”

Some of you might think, “that’s no good… I’d be too proud to accept a pity BRA.” Well, that’s you then. Me, I’m taking it. Thanks Jim! I can always count on my good buddy Jim to help me out. I ran right back over here to display my BRA for all to see and get on with doing BRAly things.

Blogger Recognition Award

I thanked Jim already yay! Now I have to bore you all to death with the story of how I began blogging…

In the beginning, all was darkness. Then I turned on a light, made a cup of tea, and thought what the heck am I going to do at 5 in the morning? Some of my writer friends had already begun blogs (2004), in order to promote their books and talk shop, so I decided to do that too. I mostly just blabbed on about whatever I felt like though, which was more fun than sticking to one topic. I was obsessed with stats back then, and this ultimately ruined my blogging experience. I highly recommend not allowing yourself to be consumed by counts of followers and views. In any case, my blog blurged along for several years, as I jabbered on about All The Things, until I got into a flamewar with some nutjobs about pitbulls. That’s when my comments got hacked and things went all kerflooey, to use a technical term.

Eff it all Bitmoji

I gave up blogging! Yep, I archived and deleted that blog and said pffft who needs this?

For about five minutes. Then I made a new blog where I only posted about cupcakes. And cats and shoes. That was boring. It hit the trash can after a little while. I had a few invite-only blogs at times too. Those were a bit more lively. 🌶

Finally, I began Light Motifs on Blogger. It worked out well except I like WordPress better for comments and such, so I made this one as version two. Originally, this particular blog began small-scale and I was mostly posting song lyrics 🎶 regarding a troubled relationship like some teenager. But gradually I branched out to full-on pointless rants and jabber as you see today.

Now, I’m supposed to give two pieces of advice to new bloggeroos. Everybody says the same things… write what you enjoy and don’t obsess about follower numbers yada yada (which I already said anyway), so I’m gonna say new things:

1. Don’t post about the same thing all the time because that’s boring. Unless you’re really really funny, then okay, but chances are you’re not, so don’t.

2. Don’t ask for money just because you exist in the WordPress community. I also exist, as do all the other bloggers here. And guess what? We all like money! Isn’t that an interesting coincidence? Why the hell should I buy someone else “a cup of coffee” because I like one of their posts? I drink coffee too… maybe they should buy me a cup. It’s so freaking ridiculous! Just. Don’t.

Note how my advice is negative rather than positive. That’s just how I am, spreading dark clouds of strife wherever I go.

Santa Bitmoji

~*~

Images from Bitmoji

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Spilling Ink

Dr Tanya is back with her interbloggatory!

Colorful question marks

How old is your current blog/website? 

-Rude! Next are ya gonna ask how much it weighs? 🤣 My first post on Light Motifs II was published on March 25, 2011. I had several other blogs before this one, the earliest dating back to 2004. Those have all been taken down due to… reasons…

Do you ever look back at your site i.e. read through your old posts?

-Sometimes, such as when I’m searching for a Friday Flashback post.

How long ago did you update your about page?

-Relatively recently to reflect my upgraded status to grandma.

If you were to start a new blog today, what would you do differently?

-Nothing, why… what’s wrong with this one?

Inky bitmoji

~*~

Image credits to Pixabay and Bitmoji.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Blogging on Blogging

Typing like mad

Dr Tanya posts some intriguing questions about blogger burnout…

1. What, in your opinion, is “Blogger burnout”?

I can only speak for myself. It seems that some bloggers post all day long, and this would definitely cause me to burn out. Even if I wrote a giant pile of posts and scheduled them to be dispersed through the week, the idea of spending an entire day writing 35 posts or so to keep up my volume? Gahhh! I’m starting to crash and burn at the very thought of it. There have been days where I’ve churned out 5 posts, mostly shorties, but generally I manage 2-3, and sometimes only one.

Putting pressure on myself to perform in a hobby type situation is a surefire path to burnout. It’s happened with regular writing, when I’ve given myself arbitrary deadlines and goals, failed to meet them, and beaten myself up over that. Then I take a breather and chill, reminding myself that hobbies are supposed to be fun.

Relaxing with book and tea

2. Have you ever suffered from blog related stress?

Yes, I most definitely have! My first blog ended up stressing me out ~ again this was all my own fault. I became obsessed with my stats, comparing myself to the mommy bloggers and becoming upset on days when my visits/comments fell. I started writing provocative and political posts to generate more excitement, but I ended up with nasty arguments (predictable duh), and then I became anxious over this even as my stats increased. I wrote too much personal stuff and was way too snarky. This culminated in a huge horrible flame war over dogs of all things, my comments were hacked, and I took the blog offline.

Sinking in quicksand

3. What steps could you suggest to keep blogging from becoming a stressful activity?

For me, first, is to disregard stats except as an occasional amusement. I sometimes laugh over the fact that I’m creeping up to 2,700 “followers” and yet am lucky to get 30 comments on a post (including mine). Where are these other people? 😂

Second is to post when I want to, ignoring things I’ve saved. Most days I save all the prompts in my feed… and don’t use them. The next morning I unsave them. I refuse to pressure myself into writing a new post before bed when I’m tired just because there are saved prompts. Too bad, so sad.

Third, I must shrug off the fact that I simply do not have time to read all the great posts in my feed. I know there are lovely poems and wonderful stories and fun adventures written by talented bloggers, but I can’t devote all my free time to reading posts. I do try to respond to everyone who leaves a comment on one of my posts… apologies if I’ve missed anyone. 💖

So, there you have it… my basic formula for a peaceful blogging experience.

Frolicking with flowers and butterflies

~*~

Images from Bitmoji.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

My Bad

Bitmoji sorry

Bloggers have been discussing plagiarism as it relates to images. While I have strong opinions about “regular” plagiarism, I’ve been sloppy with respect to pics. For the ones on Pixabay, they say no attribution is necessary, so I’ve been taking them at their word there. I also don’t bother crediting the ones from Pexels which are right here on the WordPress tab ~ it literally says “free photo library.” However… I can see that people might get confused and believe they are my photos when they aren’t. 🤯

Obviously the pictures from the Happy Color app are not mine, since the HC logo appears in the image itself. I see no need to be redundant and state it again, though I was doing so at first. And bitmojis are from their own app, even if not marked (not my problem ~ I’ve been putting “bitmoji” in the alt text lately). But my own photos (or ones I’m using with permission from family) should be noted, just to discourage others from believing they were found on a free site. I probably should put a mark on them, not that it couldn’t be chopped off. Such a pain. I’ll get right on it…

The main problem is google images. I have some on here, uncredited. I think I used to say I found an image on google, but then figured eh why bother. Google doesn’t need my help in promotion, plus saying you found an image by grabbing it off google doesn’t really give credit to the copyright holder if there is one. That’s like saying hey thanks big box store where I stole a little piece of candy! I’m sure the big boxers are grateful for the mention. 🙄

Think about it. If you take a photo of your lunch today and plop it on your blog, after a while it will end up in the great googly image warehouse. Next year, someone googles “bagel sandwich” and finds your photo, saves it, and plops it on their blog. They state: “found on google.” How does this give you any credit for your photo? It doesn’t. But at least this other blogger isn’t saying she took the photo herself. I guess that’s something.

Paula Light’s bagel sandwich

Anyway, henceforth and forthwith I vow to be clearer with image crediting until I forget again. When I do inevitably forget, here’s a rule of thumb: bad photos are mine; good photos are someone else’s. Hope that helps! 🤣

~*~

Images from the Bitmoji app and Paula Light’s personal collection.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Worth A Thousand Words?

Tiger cub roaring in jungle

In her series of posts about posts, Dr Tanya @ Salted Caramel asks about using images.

1. How important are images to a blog post?

I didn’t use to place importance on images, unless a post was about travel or a recipe. To me, blogging is writing, not comics. And I feel the same about twitter. But I am in the minority ~ people are visual, even on these alleged written media. To grow an audience, you have to give the people what they want. At first, I didn’t care about that, but when I began to care (around the time I published my first Kindle book), I started using more images. Now, I wouldn’t dream of posting without an image (if I don’t, my pink cupcake icon will still show up with my post in readers), though I’m fine with bloggers who don’t bother with images. In fact, I have to respect them for that.

2. What is tbe role of images in blog traffic and reader engagement?

I don’t know. I assume they help drive it up because I read this when I looked for tips. But I don’t have a direct comparison of my own before/after, since at the same time I began using more images I also began posting more frequently and commenting more often on new blogs.

3. How many images on average do you use in a blog post?

For a prompt post like this with a few questions I use one image only, and the same goes for a poem or a piece of flash fiction. I also generally use a single image for my own prompts: The Monday Peeve, Thursday Inspiration, Flashback Friday. When a post is longer, I may use more images. In my series fiction, I’ve been up to 3 or 4 in an 800 word post.

I’ve become stressed out over images for the series fiction, and I wish I’d just stuck with the same one from the beginning all the way through. First, it’s super hard to find what I want. Sometimes I spend longer looking for the damn images than writing the story… and even then they’re not right. Second, I can’t get the same person in the images, which bugs the hell out of me. So, Kevin grew a beard? Ugh. Third, the free sites that allow you to use unattributed images are so limited, and often their stuff is ridiculous, so I’m forced to google and hope I haven’t stolen something. It’s really stressful! I won’t write this way again. One image, straight through. That way also, people will know it’s the same story coming up.

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Random Wednesday Rant

Angry bitmoji

Many of us have prompts and also share prompts, which is great and fun. We’re a really cool community imo. I think we’re actually better since the demise of the official WordPress Daily Prompt. Now we have so many interesting words and games and photos around Blogland to motivate our creativity and create interaction… yay!

However. 🙄

What is with the obsessive reblogging and overquoting? Please don’t merely “like” this post because that’s annoying. Answer the question. Be honest. Do you reblog when someone replies to your prompt because you believe it’s your mission to get them seen by new readers and perhaps liked and followed? Or do you simply want your name in the newsfeed again? I have my theory, of course. 😎

Now, onto the quoting. We all want to be given credit for our words. But why isn’t a simple link back enough? Generally, when I do a word prompt, I link the word in my story/poem/rant/essay without further explanation. If I’m playing a game or using a photo, I will include a line with a link. If I’m copying a question or a pile of ’em, I’ll say so. But I don’t copy more than what is necessary. Why would I cut and paste an entire post? I don’t get that. Many times, the quoted part is longer than what the poster adds, making the post look lopsided. Forex, cutting and pasting 30 lines of directions for a 3-line haiku. Think about what your post looks like on the page. 🧐

Also, there are times when I haven’t read the original, so I’m not even sure where it leaves off and the new stuff begins. Earlier I read someone asking that something be kept family friendly. So much was quoted I couldn’t tell if it was the prompter asking it from writers, or the new poster asking it from commenters. This isn’t the first time quoted material blended into new writing… it happens frequently with different bloggers. There is no reason to quote such vast amounts of material! 🤯

End rant.

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Neato!

A big thanks goes out to Dr Tanya of Salted Caramel for thinking of me for the Real Neat Blog Award. Much appreciated! 😻

Now, while I don’t make up my own new questions or tag peeps on these type of posts, I will try to answer the tagger’s questions if I have time. And I do. 🎉

Dr Tanya’s Questions:

Is yours a hobby blog or a professional blog? 

-I have a paid WordPress plan to get rid of the disgusting ads, but it’s still a hobby.

How do you manage to fit blogging in with your other activities?

-Whenever I have time. Tonight it’s after 10pm, and I’ve finished my extra work, so I read some new posts and started on these questions.

How much time do you spend on WordPress every day (just a guesstimate, of course)?

-Anywhere from zero (rare) to 6 hours (also rare), if I’m writing a lot of fiction. Usually around 2-3 hours.

Do you use social media to promote your blog or vice versa?

-Neither. My posts flip to Twitter, but that hardly generates any WP traffic. And I’m not one to badger people here to follow me there because idc.

What is your favourite leisure activity?

-Playing board games.

Name three favourite books.

-The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera; Where I’m Calling From by Carver; Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Murakami.

What was the last book you read/movie you watched?

-I just watched Atlantic City tonight while I was editing. I’d never seen it before! It’s an excellent movie. Really enjoyed it.

Goodnight!

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

It’s Raining Liebsters!

Two, count ’em two, lovely bloggers have awarded me the coveted Liebster, yayyy! Thank you Sadje and Di! This is better than making the NYT bestseller list, which is what I told them there when they asked if I had time to fly to NYC, all comped at the Plaza Hotel for interviews and promos and stuff. Nope! I said, no can do. I’m gonna deal with this double Liebster thingie. They said they understood cuz they had been waiting their whole lives for Liebsters.

Well, I got two. Have I mentioned? Neener!

First, I’m supposed to reveal 11 things about myself. This is probably per award, but eff that.

1. I have over 2,600 blog followers now, which includes Twitter. 🎃

2. My general rule is that I don’t follow back new followers unless they comment.

3. This is only a general rule ~ if I visit them and they’re awesome, I will f/b.

4. I like to follow fiction writers and poets who post their craft, not endlessly moan about stuff or post business stats gabble.

5. Generally, I don’t jabber on here about the news, but I may comment elsewhere.

6. I used to post a lot about my personal life, but I’ve grown incredibly bored with it.

7. That’s because I now live an incredibly boring life, which is how I like it. 🙃

8. I don’t believe that the saying about how you should slide screaming into your grave covered in chocolate because you’ve just failed at an exotic thrill applies to me.

9. I would rather expire quietly while reading a good book and having a nice cup of tea. 📖

10. I may have gotten that quote wrong in #8 but am too lazy to look it up.

11. I am writing this in a Starbucks.

Sadje’s Questions:

1. Are you a serious blogger or just having fun here?

-Yes.

2. What was the reason that made you start a blog?

-This blog? Heartbreak.

3. Take a while to think and let us know: what object that is in your reach right now, influences you? ( e g a tv)

-Phone in my hand. 📱

4. How do you relax?

-Happy Color.

5. Are you superstitious?

-Yes, but it’s silly.

6. Loyalty to the one you love, or one who is right?

-Love always.

7. How can we improve the environment of our planet? Do you take any practical steps towards it?

-It’s really sad that this has become political. Isn’t it in everyone’s interest to have a clean, safe home? It doesn’t have to be tied to climate change, for those who don’t believe humans cause it… but we could all agree to do a better job with the air and water we all need to live. 🌍

8. What is one habit you have that you or your family think is childish?

-I still talk/write in lolcat at times, but so do my girls. We mostly only do this with each other now, since it is silly. 😻

Apparently Sadje only wrote 8 questions, which is great, since I am also about to break the rules and not do any questions or tag any bloggers. OMG! But wait. I will now answer Di’s questions, so that’s something, right? Right! 💖

Di’s Questions:

1. How did you meet your significant other ?

-At the Orange County Animal Shelter.

2. What would you consider the perfect gift to receive ?

-Amazon gift certificate.

3. What would be the worst gift for you to receive ?

-Any gift you have to spend money on, like tickets to a thing you have to travel to.

4. Holidays: Flight, cruise, coach or camping ?

-Staycation please! Love to chill at home and do local low-stress, low-cost fun.

5. Dining out: steak, salad bar, vegetarian, pizza, Indian, Chinese, other ?

-Vegetarian or veggie pizza. I’m not a veggie, but I mostly prefer those choices.

6. Have you ever taken a first aid course ?

-Nope.

7. Alcoholic drink: beer, spirit, wine, cider, liqueur, none ?

-None.

8. Biggest wish ?

-Good health and happiness for my daughters and their families.

9. Biggest fear ?

-Opposite of 8.

10. Do you prefer to cook on gas, electric, other ?

-Cook? 🤣

11. Movies:  comedy, thriller, romcom, animated, sci fi, musical, other?

-Romcom or drama/mystery. Sometimes a musical, but mostly like the older ones.

Great questions! That’ll do me for the week, at least. 👻

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.